Skip to main content

Full text of "The New World Order"

See other formats

Until the Great War, the First World War, I
did not bother very much about war and peace.
Since then I have almost specialised upon this
problem. It is not very easy to recall former
states of mind out of which, day by day and
year by year, one has grown, but I think that in
the decades before 1914 not only I but most of
my generation—in the British Empire, America,
France and indeed throughout most of the
civilised world—thought that war was dying
So it seemed to us. It was an agreeable and
therefore a readily acceptable idea. We imagined
the Franco-German War of 1870-71 and the
Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 were the final
'conflicts between Great Powers, that now there
was a Balance of Power sufficiently stable to
make further major warfare impracticable. A
Triple Alliance faced a Dual Alliance and neither
had much reason for attacking the other. We
believed war was shrinking to mere expeditionary
affairs on the outskirts of our civilisation, a sort
of frontier police business. Habits of tolerant -
intercourse, it seemed, were being strengthened
every year that the peace of the Powers remained
There was indeed a mild armament, race going
on ; mild by our present standards of equipment;